Pieštanske Čajky will face Tsmoki Minsk in the Game One of the EWBL quarterfinal series on Wednesday, January 23, at Diplomat arena. Tipoff at 18:00.
Local time: Pieštany 18:00 = CET 18:00 = Brno 18:00 = Umea 18:00 = Lulea 18:00 = Riga 19:00 = Minsk 20:00 = Grodno 20:00 = Rostov Don 20:00
What`s at stake?
Pieštanske Čajky haven`t played at the Final Four yet, while Tsmoki Minsk are looking for their first semifinal since 2016.
Road to the play-offs
The playoff hopes of the Slovak team were limited after a poor first stage at Brno. Pieštanske Čajky lost two of three games there, including a 56-71 defeat at the hands of Horizont Minsk and a 39-73 loss against Žabiny Brno.
Richard Kucsa`s team has improved a lot since then, by posting three victories in four games. Recently, the Čajky travelled to the High North to inflict a surprise 69-64 win over the Swedish champions Lulea Basket. Horizont faced a different road and crashed out of the competition.
Tsmoki Minsk must be proud of their effort and achievements so far. They joined the teams like TTT Rīga (2016, 2018, 2019) and Good Angels Košice (2018) to finish the regular season with a perfect record 7-0.
The Dragons posted average winning margin of 12,8. Their hit list includes two home wins over A3 Basket (75-60) and Olimpia Grodno (79-59) as well as a 67-66 road success over Rostov Don SFEDU at Ostrava, Czech Republic.
The Čajky have a 12-3 record at Slovak Extraliga. They lost in their first home game against Young Angels Košice (69-73) on September 29 but won the next two contests on the road (78-75 and 68-55).
The other two losses came at the hands of the former EuroLeague Women champions MBK Ružomberok (57-59 at home and 64-87 on the road). Pieštany sits in the second place.
The Dragons have a 13-0 win and loss record at Belarus championship. The most difficult game so far? A 72-68 win at Horizont Minsk on December 20, 2018. The second game is scheduled on January 27.
The four best teams will play another two rounds of matches (six games for each team), starting from February 3.
Viktoryia Hasper is the fifth best scorer (averages 16,4 points) and the second best rebounder (9.4 rebounds) in the competition. Minsk center has the second best efficiency rating of 20,3 in just 24:16 minutes of play.
Danielle McCray (University of Kansas 2006-2010) is also one of the core players for the Dragons. Versatile forward averages 14,7 points and 5,7 rebounds per contest. She is also a great defender.
Rachel Elise Theriot (Nebraska) has 9,8 points and 4,5 assists per game.
Six Pieštany players have scored 6,6 or more points per game, including Janee Thompson (11.4), Jessica Lubin (9.6), Martina Matejcikova (9.0), Dominika Deptova (8.0), Ivana Jakubcova (7.1) and Rebeka Mikulasikova (7.1).
Tsmoki and Čajky are the two least scoring teams in the Top 8, averaging 73 and 60 points respectively.
Schedule (local time only)
(A1) Tsmoki Minsk – Pieštanske Čajky (B4)
Wednesday, January 23, Pieštany, 18:00
Wednesday, February 13, Minsk, 17:00
(A2) A3 Basket – Žabiny Brno (B3)
Saturday, February 2, Brno, 18:00
Wednesday, February 13, Umea, 18:00
(B2) Lulea Basket – Rostov Don SFEDU (A3)
Sunday, February 10, Rostov Don, 17:00
Thursday, February 21, Lulea, 19:00
(B1) TTT Rīga – Olimpia Grodno (A4)
To be confirmed at a later date
Tsmoki Minsk/Pieštanske Čajky – Lulea Basket/Rostov Don SFEDU
A3 Basket/Žabiny Brno – TTT Rīga/Olimpia Grodno
Final Four history
Rīga 2016: TTT Rīga, Basket 90 Gdynia, Astana Tigers, Tsmoki Minsk
Košice 2017: Good Angels Košice, TTT Rīga, Dynamo Moscow, Basket 90 Gdynia
Rīga 2018: Good Angels Košice, TTT Rīga, Dynamo Moscow, Udominate Basket
The playoffs 2018
(A1) Good Angels 151-107 Pieštanske Čajky (B4)
(A2) Al Riyadi 123-144 Dynamo Moscow (B3)
(A3) Lulea Basket 172-173 Udominate (B2)
(A4) Liepājas Papīrs 108-179 TTT Rīga (B1)
EWBL member countries so far: Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Turkey.
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